The V8 engine proved to be a reliable and robust unit, and it was obvious to all concerned that there was ample scope for a significant increase in the power that it could deliver.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage was announced on 18th February 1977. Revised camshafts, air-box, larger inlet valves and carburettors, new inlet manifolds and different plugs, claimed to provide an increase in power of 40% and 10% more torque. The same ZF manual gearbox as in the V8 Saloon was standard equipment. This was enough to give a top speed of about 170 mph and acceleration from 0-60 mph in 5.2 secs.
The power increase meant that aerodynamic improvements had to be made. This included a spoiler on the tail, a deep spoiler under the nose and blanked off radiator (on most but not all), and blanked off bonnet air scoop. In common with the standard AMV8, the Vantage enjoyed similar evolutionary changes throughout its production life, including BBS wheels in 1983 and in 1986 the beautiful Ronal 16” wheel along with the 580 X Pack engine, the most powerful version developed for the production cars.
Announced in 1985 and launched for sale in 1986, the introduction of a limited edition Vantage Zagato renewed a partnership with the famous Italian coachbuilder. With striking aggressive styling, only 50 saloons and 37 Volante versions were produced. Most of the Volantes used the 585 series fuel injection engine.
A 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed approaching 170 mph made the V8 Vantage not only the UK’s first true supercar but also the fastest 4 seater production car in the world.
The flagship model of the company from 1977 to 1989, the Vantage continues to be sought after, particularly the later 580 X pack versions with 16” Ronal wheels.